Boxwood blight?

Asked June 22, 2016, 9:55 PM EDT

My boxwood is in big trouble. It's about 20 yrs old, was given to me by a friend last fall and transplanted to my yard. Looked perfectly healthy for 6 mos. but now has suddenly started turning brown. Some of the remaining green leaves are slightly curly. It is in partial shade similar to its previous location. The other boxwood that were already growing nearby look fine. Any thoughts, suggestions?

PS This boxwood is 6-7' tall. The same friend gave me more of these large boxwood which were transplanted to my yard in Shepherdstown, WV. These are also in trouble, some are in almost full shade, others in 1/2 day of sun, all turning brown, several have leaves with small round circles.

Montgomery County Maryland

4 Responses

Boxwoods in general can be susceptible to several fungal diseases, insect, and abiotic issues (cultural and environmental). We would like to see more photos of the boxwood. Your middle photo is out of focus. Send photos of the whole shrub, around the base of the shrubs, and affected branches and stems so we can see what you are dealing with.
Here is some general information on boxwood blight below. There are specific symptoms that differentiate this disease from other boxwood diseases - for example, stem cankers, defoliation, etc. We look forward to your photos.

Thank you for your help. I hope these photos will be useful. 1) full shot 2) base of boxwood 3) branch with dead and green leaves

Most of the center of the boxwood now looks brown. Green leaves are mostly at the ends of the branches. There are black speckles on the trunk and stems, also some of the leaves are almost black, almost look singed. Some leaves have tiny speckles like the volutella photo on the website.

I can send more photos if needed.

Based on your photos this does not look like boxwood blight. This looks like the boxwood is struggling to establish itself. We do notice some psyllid damage (insect) on the foliage and some volutella but these are secondary issues and there is no need for control.
The boxwood that you transplanted is large. They are not fast growers and it will take several years for the root system to get established. It is important to water during dry periods all the way up until the ground freezes. Make sure mulch is no thicker than several inches and keep away from the base of the stem. No pruning now except to remove any dead wood. The plant needs as much green material on it as possible. Next spring you may want to prune to rejuvenate. They have dormant buds along the stems so hopefully they should put out new growth. See the above publication on boxwood for general care.

Thank you so much. Very reassuring.